There are many things – aspects, virtues, expectations, goals – that define an entrepreneur. But there’s hardly a concise list that puts into context aspects that should not define an entrepreneur. In this article, we’ll explore and expand upon nine such facets.
An entrepreneur should not be defined by his or her bank balance. Presence or lack of money has come to dominate the psyche of every individual. An entrepreneur is a carrier of a dream, a vision. He or she often carries a solution within them that can help bring about vital transformations in a world that’s unfit to live in, in its present state. A bold, iconoclastic, and pure vision is beyond the value that any amount of paper or plastic can attribute to it.
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‘Re-invention’ is the buzzword these days. Every brand is either revamping their logo, their brand language, and sometimes their entire management. Can you guess the real reason behind this mad rush for synthetic change? The reason is fear.
When brand X changes its logo, invests millions to study colour and font psychology, and millions more in researching the most addictive chemical to put into their beverage or snack, brand Y tails the change immediately for the fear of losing out. This shoddy display of faith in veracity of one’s product has created frenzy in the market place by giving the consumers too much to choose from. Driven by desire, but backed by ignorance, the foolhardy customers often confuse flashy for good. Such fear puts quality in the backseat, eventually creating more problems than the entrepreneur had set out to solve.
There are many things an entrepreneur’s mind accepts unquestioningly, about their line of business. Sometimes, even before starting. For example, an entrepreneur wakes up each day believing that ‘there’s no time’. If you find yourself in the category of ‘there’s no time for breakfast or newspaper or to say hello to the kindly neighbourhood auntie’, know that you’ll be applying the same tactic at work soon. When you believe in your heart and gut that you really have no time, you’ll end up creating shortcut solutions for everything. Bills will get delayed till the power is cut, salaries will be delayed till the employees send accusatory emails, and clients will spread an unfavourable word of mouth sooner than later.
We live in a world that believes more in instability than balance and stability. From broken relationships to a broken printer, everyone is looking to set things right, temporarily, hoping to find time for each half-fixed problem sometime in the future. Needless to say, that time never comes.
A designation is a dangerous position. It’s limiting in its scope. When an entrepreneur starts out, he or she believes in doing all the leg work on their own primarily to save money. If the startup picks up pace, the founder gets caught up in a torrent of meetings, conferences, and networking events. Soon they are hardly visible in the office. Why? Because they have fallen for the CEO tag, according to which they should be an enigma worshipped by the lesser mortals of the office. While some entrepreneurs challenge these limiting definitions, most prefer to dwell in their glass towers.
Entrepreneurship is a tough job. Especially when you encounter individuals who aren’t driven by gut but glory, who aren’t the keepers of knowledge but guardians of ignorance, and more oft, those who aren’t preservers of wisdom but precursors of doom. But, if you let their stupidity and ignorance become a stumbling block in your journey, rest assured you won’t be venturing out too far in the open.
As an entrepreneur, you know just how pressing things can sometimes get. And if you’ve come far enough to realise the truth of this statement, you also know that anger is not always the most effective tool to employ to deal with issues. This doesn’t mean that all anger is bad. That’s what the new-age movement will have you believe. Righteous anger exists and must be exercised with intensity and passion. However, if the anger is pointless, or is simply the result of a bad stomach or bad insight, it can have lasting ill-effects.
Care is the essence of our being, and it comes from the heart. If your heart has frozen over time due to invalid expectations and an onslaught of failures and defeat, it can make a dent in your ability to empathise. And when you fail to acknowledge your problems or the problems of your employees or family, you’ll have to bear the consequences.
It’s highly unfortunate when we label and accept the world of business as a dog-eat-dog world. In truth, such a statement is nothing but a form of psychic cannibalism that can turn a businessman into a beast. When you allow yourself to be defined by the immoral codes of a dog-eat-dog world, you agree to committing all and any form of wrongdoings and moral sins in order to survive longer than the dog you chose to ate.
A real, honest, well-meaning entrepreneur does not abide by second-hand beliefs and borrowed rules of corporate despotism. He or she is psychologically mature enough to see the limitations set out by definitions. Responsible entrepreneurs choose to define their thoughts and actions based on universal moral codes that lead to unity, not division, cohesion and not competition.